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'Are You the One?': Probably not, but let's do it anyway

Season 2 | Episode 1 | “One Too Many” | Aired Oct 6, 2014

MTV touts Are You the One? as its “most ambitious dating experiment ever attempted,” over such genius gems as Next, Room Raiders, and Parental Control. Science is vaguely involved. Ambiguous data has been cross checked. But hey, MTV must be doing something right! Season 1’s Amber and Ethan are married and expecting a child.

A regular recap for another dating competition series would be boring. For such an “ambitious” series, let’s raise the stakes. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to determine the 10 perfect matches before the contestants do. Your prize is love and money the satisfaction that you are part of the elite, highly engaged TV viewer society. Let the logic games and journey to find true love begin!

The second season starts with flash-forward to the drama ahead—on day 16, a guy cries in frustration, on day 27, a couple cry and shout at each other, and on day 34, two men fight over one woman. Who cares about that now? It’s day one in Puerto Rico, and the contestants are excited for their chance at love and money! But it wouldn’t be the sophomore season of a MTV reality show without a twist: There are 10 guys and 11 ladies. That means there is one guy who has two “perfect matches.” The girl who doesn’t secure a perfect match before the other perfectly matched girl goes home without love … but more important, without a cut of the $1 million grand prize. Stone cold, MTV. Stone cold.

Host and Veronica Mars alum Ryan Devlin reveals this news by introducing Christina, the Eleventh Girl, or (as Ellie later calls her) “Uhn E. Leventh B—h.” The 10 other girls immediately hate Christina. Don’t hate the player, ladies. Hate the game. The 10 guys are comically happy. The Patriarchy is alive and well. Somewhere in an underground bunker, the echoes of MTV executives cackling reverberate against the evil lair walls.

The San Juan–set house is predictably beautiful. The bizarre mess of mattresses on the floor returns from last season, ensuring bodily fluids really can travel everywhere. The first round of shots is poured and drunk. It has begun. 

Brandon introduces himself to Briana with a “Hey!” and a flippant wave of his hand. Briana responds, “We’re women, so you say ‘Hello.’ We have names.” Brandon, shocked by this revelation, sighs like a 5-year-old: “Hi. Nice to meet you.” Um, I don’t think they’re a match.

Later that night, John leaps from one mattress to another and accidentally knees Briana in the nose, causing blood to gush everywhere. See, what did I say about those mattresses and bodily fluids? Um, I don’t think they’re a match either.

Speaking of mattresses and bodily fluids, Jessica and Anthony hit it off quickly and literally, enjoying some sexy time in the corner of the mattress mass. The next morning, Jessica regrets having sex on the very first night. She should take Ellie’s advice to “slow down and take it all in. And not take it all in.” I have a feeling Ellie is going to be my favorite contestant.

The first Ice Breaker challenge actually involves breaking ice. Each pair must use their bodies to melt the ice, grab the key inside the ice, and use the code on the key to open a box. The first three to complete the challenge win a getaway date. With Briana still in the hospital, the contestants are evenly matched. Garland and Christina create friction with their hands to melt the ice. Dario and Jasmine create friction with their butts. Ellie uses her vagina heat. In the end, Alexandria (Alex? Who? She’s not featured in this episode at all despite winning the challenge.) and Layton, Jessica and Brandon, and Paris and Pratt win the getaway date.

Fast friends and maybe something more, Denim-Denim-Denim Pratt and Hot Buns Paris hatch an Inception-inspired plan to convince the losing contestants not to vote them into the Truth Booth. Although they believe they are a perfect match, they want to stay in the house a bit longer to have fun with the group rather than be secluded in the honeymoon suite.

The winners head off on a private plane to the nearby island of Culebra for a day at Flamenco Beach, one of the highest-rated beaches in the world. Until the 1970s, the United States military used Culebra (not to mention Vieques) for bombing exercises, which explains the abandoned tank seen on shore. The military abandoned these efforts after thinking, “Ah, maybe we shouldn’t conduct military exercises on an unparalleled tropical paradise where people live that is also close to islands with even more inhabitants.” (File this under Facts Received from Reading Recaps Written by a Puerto Rican.) Now Culebra is a getaway date location for an MTV dating show, so all is well.

At Truth Booth time, the majority of contestants fall for Pratt and Paris’ scheme and vote for Brandon and Jessica. The potential perfect match approaches the newfangled, jungle-themed Truth Booth. Inside, the fake analysis chamber “scans” them  to reveal that they are not a match. Brandon and Jessica couldn’t be happier despite the fact that the match-up is a waste of an affirmative answer. Upon his return, Brandon makes out with Christina in front of everyone to celebrate.

At the first Match-Up Ceremony, the guys pick the girls. Despite his Culebra connection with Jessica, Layton chooses Jenni, whom he chatted up on the first day. In response, Jessica states, “We all understand the game, so do what you gotta do,” but her face says otherwise. Pratt chooses Paris, stating he’s fallen “flat on his face” for her. Here’s hoping they aren’t the Chris and Shanley of season 2. Ryan Devlin calls out John as the “Karate Kid,” and he chooses Jasmine, as Curtis already chose Briana. With Ellie and Tyler as options, last guy Alex chooses Ellie, making Tyler the first girl to be excluded. This is not good for self-esteem, MTV! With the rest of the contestants’ matches locked in, they confirm a whopping two correct matches.

Things won’t really get interesting until we receive more data enjoy more episodes. Connections will be formed, hearts will be broken, and drama will ensue. I can’t wait!

Match Ceremony

Excluded: Tyler

Perfect Matches: 2

Assorted Clues

  • According to the flash-forward to day 34, Anthony and Jenni are not a match.
  • According to Jessica’s remark on the Are You the One? after-show, The Aftermatch, Jessica is (probably) not Layton’s match. As a response to losing the fan poll on whether Jenni or Jessica is Layton’s perfect match, she said, “I’m not mad. Trust me.” Reading too much into it, or is it a clue? You decide!
  • Does bringing her dildo along hurt Ellie’s chances of finding her (other) perfect match?

Are You the One?, rated TV-14, airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on MTV.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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